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10 Essential Travel Documents for International Students [Checklist]

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Our checklist of travel documents for international students will help keep you organized

Packing for your trip to the United States is exciting. After all of the work you have done to get accepted at a U.S. university, it is finally time to prepare for the trip. In your excitement, it would be easy to forget some of the essential documents you will need at your point of entry or during your time in school. This travel documents checklist for international students will ensure you have all your academic and required travel documents in one place.

1. Passport At the top of the list of travel documents for international students is, of course, your passport. Keep your passport near you at all times. You will need it to board your plane and get through customs in the United States. Once you have arrived, you will use your passport to prove your age and identity.

2. Flight Documents You will need your airline tickets to get through security checkpoints and board the plane. Keep a paper copy of your flight itinerary as well. Do not rely solely on your mobile phone to store these important documents in case the battery drains during a long flight.

3. Student Visa You will need to show your student visa at your point of entry. Keep it with your passport.

4. Form I-20 Keep your Form I-20 with your passport also. You will need the original, signed copy to show the customs officer at your point of entry.

5. Admissions Letter Officials at your point of entry may also ask to see your admissions letter to prove your destination. Keep a copy with your passport.

6. Health Insurance Documents Although you hope you will not need to use your medical insurance documents during your time in the United States, you should bring them with you.

7. Medical Records Bring copies of your medical records in case you need to see a doctor while you are in the United States.

8. Prescriptions This might be one of those travel documents for international students that you might not think of. And you would not be alone is forgetting your paper prescription. If you take any prescription medication, you should bring a copy of the prescription to show customs officials. A prescription proves that the medicine belongs to you and that it was lawfully prescribed.

9. Academic Documents Pack copies of transcripts, class schedules and other academic documents. Although your university should have these documents available, you will save time by bringing your own copies.

10. Contact List This list should include contacts in the U.S. and your home country who can help you if travel plans change or if you encounter an emergency. Include contact information for the international office at your college as well as your counselor, your family and anyone you know in the United States.

More Helpful Hints About Your Travel Documents

Your travel documents are the most important items you will pack for your trip to the United States. Remember, you can buy many of the things you need when you arrive, but you must have original copies of these documents to enter the country and start your first year of college.

• You should carry originals of all of these documents in a personal bag or wallet that stays with you at all times. Do not pack travel documents in your checked bags. You will need to be able to access most of them during your trip.

• Make photocopies of all documents and pack the photocopies in a different bag from the originals. That way, if one of your bags is lost or stolen, you can more easily replace these essential documents.

Check out more about the visa process and other articles for international students.